The Time Has Come

The time may have come for the Chief Justice to make a decision.

The recent bank certifications  of his over P31 MM in bank deposits (excluding his dollar accounts and whatever else) as of end 2010 versus the P3.5 MM he reported may just have raised the wall of evidence to unscalable heights. The information provides a clarity previously missing in the dubious accounting, allegedly undervalued and unreported properties and suspicious discounts on a penthouse. Cold cash has a way of speaking to the public, unfettered by smoke and mirrors on one side and a stuttering narrative on the other. The Prosecution’s story is taking form.

The Defense should be allowed to air its side at the earliest time. The Senate-Judges might consider allowing it to do so now rather than at the end of the seven other charges as currently provided by the rules. The CJ should be permitted to erase the long shadow cast by the bank information that could prejudice the other Articles.

The CJ has been accused of corruption, culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes. Some of the offenses have been extended to his wife.

In his mind the manner of the impeachment is questionable, crass and ill-intentioned. He is convinced 188 Congressmen signed the Impeachment Articles in a fashion and a time that suggests they neither deliberated, verified nor even read them as provided in the Constitution. He was arguably deprived of due process.

He is not the only one to believe so. A number of well-meaning practitioners volunteered at no compensation to argue his cause. These men and women have taken leave of their livelihood and family and suffered comments from friends, colleagues and clients for assuming the cudgel; not understanding the depth of their conviction and the gravity of the charges that were being laid before the CJ. At stake, they feel, is the essence of democracy and the constitutional safeguards that make it possible.

Corona’s family has suffered and will continue to do so long after the smoke has cleared and people have returned to their daily lives. They will have to live with the legacy, its loneliness and its permanence.

The recent evidence is a game changer and there will be more to follow but I have not said anything the CJ does not already know.

What I come here for is not in judgment but in appeal, a prayer on behalf of the nation and perhaps others who love and respect him but are unsure how to present themselves.

The appeal is for the CJ to consider stepping down.

The impeachment could take its course but this will be painful to the country, to the institution he so professes to love, and to his friends and cherished ones.

The trial is sapping the resources and focus of the Senate at a time when it should be addressing the vital needs of the nation. The earthquake in the South is a reminder that events will not wait for the Court’s judgment.

The trial is dividing the Republic as well as the institutions that make us who we are, a free people. The Supreme Court has and will be pitted against the Impeachment Court in territory heretofore untravelled.

The trial is taking a toll on his family. Just as he seeks to protect them, so do they wish to shield him from ignominy. They must suffer seeing him diminished.

There are his supporters especially those who stand with him in the courtroom. As the evidence, right or wrong, grows they will entertain doubts as well as be pressured to abandon the quest. Will the CJ hold them to their commitment made at a different time and circumstance?

The CJ’s victory however honorable could be pyrrhic. His return to the Court as its leader would be awkward if not untenable to the public. It is possible he intends to resign after an acquittal but the damage will have been done.

The CJ is ultimately accountable only to God, to himself and to the people in some order. To the first two only he and his conscience know what is. But to the people, he is answerable to their trust and right now, rightly or wrongly, that trust is seemingly not there.

The man was aware that the journey would be arduous but this is the price he may  have agreed to pay to defend the institution he leads. There is honor in this.

But is the cause indeed what it is?

Might you, sir, not serve an equal calling if you were to give of yourself in the interest of the country? It would not be an inference of wrongdoing but a humble sublimation to the collective good.

This and the anguish to his family must weigh heavily on his mind.

There is a time to cut and to cut clean. Respectfully, that time perhaps has come.

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About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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13 Responses to The Time Has Come

  1. the author says:

    Ah but no, he would not cut, he would rather have a constitutional crisis than to step down.

  2. martha says:

    walaqng paiaalam at pagmamahal si corona sa bayan.gusto lang nya ang power. sefish ambition.sana magresign na siya.

  3. As an ordinary citizen, I would want CJ Corona to step down if he still has self-respect remaining in him and in his family. He should not insist that he has supporters coming from the group of INC. He had done so much mess in our country. His integrity now is clearly tarnished with so much controversies in connection specially with his several deposit accounts in peso and dollar accounts. Just resign and don!t ever think that you own the position of a Chief Justice and that the Supreme Court is owned by your family.

  4. FRP says:

    The assumption of unvarnished motives of clarity and service do seem out of place in speculating upon the near future of the Chief Justice . If one were to speculate indeed it is educational to observe a cornered beast in any situation .
    These violent images have but one outcome , albeit with two ends . The happier is seeing the Chief Justice relinquish his poisonous , beastly grip , and forego the expense in both reputation and treasure of courageously expiring for a laughable vanity . The simpler and more satisfying is in denying the emperors fashion sense being the one unencumbered by restrictive fabrics , until the last breathe is drawn . The denial permits the clean assumptions of fantasy , paid in life , and treasure . The author of a lifetime of crimes against the people , is permitted to ask amongt the tears and tittering , “Whose crimes ?” .
    The countless lives and treasures commandeered over a destructive lifetime of obvious corruption . One hardly needs to ask who has impounded the hopes and futures of how many innocents for an enviable but , unearned mountain of cash and the power it buys .

  5. Pingback: 54% think Corona will be convicted : Your Web Techniques

  6. Arimengal says:

    judgmental! Tell me, if all current impeacheable government officials can easily be impeached, majority of them, if not all, will not pass wealth corruption issue. What do you think, guys>

  7. sabi pa nga niya kamatayan lang ang nagpapaalis sa kanya….talagang manhid at makasarili ang kanyang damdamin. wala siyang pagmamahal sa taong bayan.

  8. michael ceniza says:

    who do you think you are to tell cj corona that this is his time to resign????i never know him personally i live in england now for almost 6 years and i watch the news and everything jan sa pinas..i would say he has the right to defend himself in the process of law, it was already lesson of history not to finish an impeachment unless if the court or law has been abused it needs to be stopped..this government should do work hard para maging maunlad ang buhay ng maralitang pilipino at wag lokohin ang taumbayan sa tootoong sitwasyon. wag maging atat sa resulta ng proceeding at wag pakialaman ang desisyon ng senator judges dahil kapartido..at the end of the day i beleive justice will prevail if the impeachment court will decide on the evidence not by their political party stand…

  9. I do not understand why people are asking CJ Corona to resign to avert a constitutional crisis…to be the big man, the patriot and man of the hour?

    For me by accepting a badly crafted impeachment complaint and then now as we have seen using “tainted” evidence, a badly made copy of a dollar account from an anonymous small lady, as basis to subpoena bank records? This authority that the impeachment court is saying it has the power because it is a Sui Generis and therefore they are not subject to any legal nor ethical constraints in search for the truth, it is this abuse of discretion that this impeachment court in the trampling of an individual’s rights, is causing a constitutional crisis.

    So I say bring it on… let us once and for all test this 1987 constitution for heavens sake. A constitution that is so defective we are seeing how it can be manipulated by people in power. In a way it is also a test on who will do the right thing for the country. Who knows after all this brouhaha maybe we will finally all agree that the 1987 constitution needs to be amended.

    Let this impeachment trial proceed. If he is guilty let CJ Corona pay for his misconduct and let him face the consequences of his actions. Let all those who aspire to be a justice of the supreme court be warned that they are not shielded by their robes. He brought this on himself when he accepted the midnight appointment. He has as PHP31million in bank balances as of December 31, 2010 to explain and account for that is not reflectrf in his SALN.

    Personally my view is simple. Why should he resign he did not ask for this impeachment against him? Remember Batangueno si chief justice… pagkatapos pinayagan na senado na halukayin ang kaluluwa niya… sira na pangalan niya manalo or matalo… he has nothing to lose anymore except whatever protection is accorded him by remaining chief justice while this is ongoing.

    And assuming he resigns can anyone guarantee that the they will stop going after him? Can anyone honestly tell me if he resigns that all these will stop and life for him can go back to normal? Does anyone honestly believe that if he resigns things will change dramatically? That congressmen, senators and the other justices will suddenly gown a conscience and come clean with their SALN and their ITR?

    What is sure seeing how the congressmen and some senators have handled themselves, the scary question now is what would preclude the legislature, these congress, empowered, to go after the rest of the judiciary and even the President?

    As congressman Farinas said…hinde po tayo and magkalaban, kalaban natin ang judikatura.

  10. MamangUsisero says:

    Had he opted for an early retirement (as this is more acceptable and graceful exit than resignation) before the filing of the impeachment complaints against him, then all these questions regarding his bank deposits would not have come to light. He made the wrong choice to sit out and fight.

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